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What is Fitness?
3-D Definition of Fitness
Page 27The aims, prescription, methodology, implementation, and adaptations ofCrossFit are collectively and individually unique, defining of CrossFit, andinstrumental in our program’s successes in diverse applications.
From the beginning, the aim of CrossFit has been to forge a broad, general,and inclusive fitness. We sought to build a program that would best preparetrainees for any physical contingency—prepare them not only for theunknown but for the unknowable. Looking at all sport and physical taskscollectively, we asked what physical skills and adaptations would mostuniversally lend themselves to performance advantage. Capacity culled fromthe intersection of all sports demands would quite logically lend itself well toall sport. In sum, our specialty is not specializing. The second issue (“Whatis Fitness?”) of the CrossFit Journal details this perspective.
The CrossFit prescription is “constantly varied, high-intensity, functionalmovement.” Functional movements are universal motor recruitmentpatterns; they are performed in a wave of contraction from core to extremity;and they are compound movements—i.e., they are multi-joint. They arenatural, effective, and efficient locomotors of body and external objects. Butno aspect of functional movements is more important than their capacityto move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly. Collectively,these three attributes (load, distance, and speed) uniquely qualify functionalmovements for the production of high power. Intensity is defined exactly aspower, and intensity is the independent variable most commonly associatedwith maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise. Recognizing that thebreadth and depth of a program’s stimulus will determine the breadthand depth of the adaptation it elicits, our prescription of functionality andintensity is constantly varied. We believe that preparation for randomphysical challenges—i.e., unknown and unknowable events—is at odds withfixed, predictable, and routine regimens.